Today marks completion of family mediation week. In this blog we sum up the mediation procedure and, as thought about in our historical blogs, examine the key advantages of mediation and other methods of disagreement resolution as a way of dealing with the practical plans following separation.
The family mediation procedure
mediation normally starts with the mediator having a short preliminary call with each of the parties. The purpose of this call is to speak with the parties about the mediation process and think about individually with them whether there are any concerns which would mean that mediation is not appropriate.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a conference with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Details Assessment Fulfilling (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation procedure. The initial meetings are personal and so the material will not be talked about with the other party.
following the specific meetings, if the parties want to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The first conference is utilized to go through the Agreement to Moderate kind, deal with any interim or pressing concerns and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Additional joint conferences
the focus of future meetings will depend upon the issues the parties wish to cover but this will usually include discussion around the arrangements for the children followed by an evaluation of the parties’ financial disclosure and an exploration of possible monetary settlement.
On the occasion that an agreement is reached, the mediator can tape-record the pertinent information and choices in a number of files called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure supplied. This is an open instead of without prejudice file.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the conversations in mediation and the total decisions reached. This is a without prejudice document and can not be revealed in any court procedures.
- Parenting Plan
this records the arrangements for the children and any other matters parents wish to record in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any agreement reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have actually had independent legal suggestions on it. When this has actually occurred, among the party’s attorneys will usually turn the Memorandum of Comprehending into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation procedure, a few of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and a party and the mediator’s own lawyer will consider any issues which may make mediation difficult or unsuitable. The benefits consist of:
Family mediation is a member of the ADR or alternative dispute resolution family. It forms one of the core pillars of mediation services provided globally.
Historically, it is not clear geographically where family mediation first evolved. However, family mediation has been present in various forms in various cultures world-wide for thousands of years.
The system is focused on providing a dispute resolution mechanism to families who are in dispute. Divorce mediation forms part of the family mediation tree of services.
Modern day family mediation is divided into two main fields namely mediation and comediation. In the former of the two fields a single mediator works with the family in dispute. In the latter of the two fields, two or more mediators work with a family in dispute. Mediations are completed by the use of either joint or single caucuses. In single caucuses the mediator/s caucus one party at a time. In joint caucuses the mediator/s work with all sides to the dispute present in the same session. The majority of family disputes have two sides however in family disputes between siblings it is not uncommon for several parties to be involved.
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and confirm what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters important to your own family and those which may not otherwise be relevant in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be scheduled a time and location practical to you and the mediator. You pick the length of time in between sessions and handle its rate. You won’t have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court process, and similarly you can guarantee you each have sufficient time to collate monetary disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Choices reached in mediation can be customized to suit your family. This is in contrast to court imposed decisions where the judge may not have the power to impose comparable arrangements or has actually disliked the subtlety of why a specific idea might be much better.
When a choice is made together in mediation, it is more likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
- Personal privacy
mediation is a personal and personal procedure which means that parties are encouraged to be open about options they want to think about. This generally results in parties making tips they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is likewise a method of keeping information of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Costs and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court proceedings. By setting the program and picking the number of sessions you have, parties have much more control over the procedure than when they become part of court proceedings. The mediator will also ensure and handle the process that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus today with #FamilyMediationweek, in suitable cases it can provide an invaluable way of dealing with family disputes successfully and agreeably and it should be something that is encouraged all year.